Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Egypt’s “Historic” Elections

A Post-Colonial Telling

(Left: Philip Rizk)

"......The election process proceeded as planned, despite the fact that the military establishment overseeing Egypt’s “first democratic elections” was chronically using obscene forms of violence against the same people whose rights it pledged to protect. During and after the ensuing clashes, military leaders had the parliament area sealed off, effectively creating a military zone that walls off the government’s bastion of power from the Egyptian public. Meanwhile, voting and ballot counting proceeded.

The year 2011 in Egypt has proven to be an unprecedented year of protest and revolutionary vitality. It is tempting to hope that the struggle for revolutionary change will find a new life in the ongoing electoral process and in the institutions it will generate. Yet it is belief in this hope that is the biggest threat to Egypt’s revolution. The type of limited, hollow “democracy” that the SCAF and its allies want for the country is largely aimed at undermining Egypt’s protest movement after it has proven its potential to make meaningful strides toward the demands that drove millions of Egyptians out to streets on 25 January: bread, freedom, and social justice. I will not attempt to propose an alternative to the facade of democracy that the SCAF seeks to institute. For the time being, the only semblance of a democracy is remaining on the street in defiance of oppression—at least to make our voices heard."

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